Henri Lazarof & Robert Hall Lewis: Chamber Works
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL263     Release Date: 2010-09-15

Los Angeles Chamber Ensemble; Members of the UCLA Wind Ensemble; Henri Lazarof, Conductor; Gabriel Banat, violin; Saul Goodman, percussion; Walter Rosenberger, percussion; Aeolian Chamber Players: Lewis Kaplan, violin; Erich Graf, flute & piccolo; Lloyd Greenberg, clarinet; Jonathan Abramowitz, cello; Walter Ponce, piano

Henri Lazarof's Espaces (dedicated to his wife, Eleanore Lazarof) was composed for the Monday Evening Concerts of the Los Angeles County Museum, where it was premiered in October, 1967, with the composer conducting.

This five part work is conceived for two flutes, clarinet, bass clarinet, two violas, two cellos, and two pianos. It is a chamber concerto organized in three Actes with two Entr'actes. Though the five divisions flow from one to the other the plan is readily apparent by instrumental usage: Acte I Tutti; Entr'acte I — two pianos; Acte II — Tutti; Entr'acte II — Woodwinds and Strings; Acte III — Tutti. This is a “concerto grosso” in which each instrument may be called upon to function in the ripieno, in the concertino, or in a solo capacity.

With the completion of Espaces, Henri Lazarof began immediately to compose the Octet for flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, C trumpet, horn, and trombone.

Lazarof molds his materials into two sets of strictly controlled variations. Variations I consists of a four measure exposition of chordal material and is followed by eleven variations. The primary emphasis is vertical. The eight instruments are divided into three groups regulated by timbre. Forward motion is assured by continuous increase in tempo markings. This increasing motion is assisted by controlled silence between the variations: the time lapses begin with five seconds and gradually decrease to one second.

The second set of Variations employs the instruments as a “double quartet,” built upon the high and low register of the instruments. The materials of the second set are essentially horizontal and consistently in two different tempi.

Robert Hall Lewis' Toccata for Solo Violin and Percussion was composed for a concert of contemporary music sponsored by Goucher College in February, 1963.

There are three principle sections, connected by two cadenza-like interludes, the first for the two percussionists, a portion of which is a rhythmic canon. A slower, more lyrical central section leads to a second interlude for violin solo, in which new aspects of former ideas are presented. A closing Allegro of vigorous character eventually recalls violin motives from the first part, modified rhythmically in duet style with the timpani.

Mr. Lewis composed his Divertimento with the old-time meaning of the title in mind: that is, to divert and amuse listeners and give his performers a chance to display their virtuosity while playing advanced musical material. In the composer's words, “the music embodies several antitheses: continuity-discontinuity, complexity- simplicity and the juxtaposition of static sound with gestures of more intense rhythmic activity.”


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Various Artists

Henri Lazarof & Robert Hall Lewis: Chamber Works

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Track Listing

Espaces: I. Acte I
Henri Lazarof
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Espaces: II. Entr'acte I
Henri Lazarof
Buy
Espaces: III. Acte II
Henri Lazarof
Buy
Espaces: IV. Entr'acte II
Henri Lazarof
Buy
Espaces: V. Acte III
Henri Lazarof
Buy
Octet: Variations I
Henri Lazarof
Buy
Octet: Variations II
Henri Lazarof
Buy
Toccata for Solo Violin and Percussion
Robert Hall Lewis
Buy
Divertimento for Six Instruments
Robert Hall Lewis
Buy